Libya’s Wealth Fund In Leadership Showdown

Libya’s Presidency Council (PC) has appointed an interim steering committee to administer the country’s main sovereign wealth fund, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA). The move is an effort to clarify the lines of authority within the organization, which since 2014 have been split between a Tripoli-based branch and another loyal to the former internationally recognized government in Baida in the east of the country. But there is a risk that the latest development could make the situation even more confusing, as well as complicating cases that the LIA is pursuing against two international investment banks (see box).

The Tripoli-based PC, established by the 17 December Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) issued a decree on 15 August appointing the LIA’s five-member steering committee. According to the decree, known as Decision 115 of 2016, the committee will have the power to pursue legal cases on behalf of the LIA, but no power to transfer or dispose of LIA assets. In practice this is academic as the funds are largely frozen under UN sanctions imposed in 2011. According to a 2012 audit by Deloitte, the LIA has holdings estimated at $67bn.


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